Veterans’ Health Bill Sails Toward Passage
Posted at 8:45 a.m. on July 31
The Senate today is expected to overwhelmingly approve a compromise veterans’ health bill, clearing it for President Barack Obama’s signature. The measure would provide $10 billion for non-Veterans Affairs health care services to veterans’ who cannot schedule appointments at a veterans’ medical center and offers $5 billion to the VA to hire additional staff and upgrade facilities to meet demands for health care.
CQ Roll Call’s Emma Dumain reported that the House easily adopted the legislation on Wednesday in a 420-5 vote despite opposition from a fiscally conservative group.
Strong bipartisan support for the veterans’ health measure is remarkable since the measure faced raucous conference committee negotiations as recently as last week.
Also, health care delivery and payment adjustment measures in the past have typically required substantial offsetting spending adjustments to pay for new services. The veterans’ health package only includes offsets that are limited to VA operations that garner additional money by extending programs that verify income levels for veterans’ benefits.